Criminals are aware of the number of businesses and individuals using mobile and wireless technology to manage their finances and are cashing in on security flaws. We must all protect ourselves from these criminals by remaining vigilant and knowing what information we should and should not disclose over the telephone, in emails and via the internet.
Fraudsters may contact you by telephone which is also known as 'vishing' pretending to be from your bank, the police or from another professional agency. We would recommend that to protect yourself you never disclose any passwords or pin numbers over the telephone. If a caller is claiming to be from your bank and you are unsure whether the caller is genuine, then we would recommend calling the bank back yourself to ensure you verify who you are speaking to.
Fraudsters may contact you by email which is also known as 'phishing'. This type of fraud is on the increase; criminals will try and compromise your data by sending you an email with a file attached. Their aim is to tempt you into opening the attachment which will leave your computer open to viruses, malware or other security threats. These attachments may contain malicious software known as malware. This malware downloads itself to your computer and hides in the background until you access some of your secure personal data such as online banking, it will then activate and allow the criminal fraudsters access to your personal details including your bank details and passcodes.
All major banks and a number of companies including HMRC have been impersonated by fraudsters. It is important to remember that banks will not request any personal information from their customers by email – if you are unsure about an email which appears to have come from your bank then pick up the phone, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you receive an email from HMRC and are unsure whether it is genuine or a scam then please contact us, we will confirm whether the email is genuine or not and deal with HMRC on your behalf.
We would recommend that all of our clients have strong and secure passwords for all of their information, especially in relation to their finances. A secure password should contain both upper and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation, they should never be shared, written down or disclosed and should be regularly changed.
If you are ever unsure about the authenticity of a communication with your bank or any other professional organisations it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. We are always here to help so if you are concerned about an email or telephone call you have received please contact us today on 01228 711888 and we will help.